Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vintage Re-Vamp

I was trying to find some quick (and ridiculously) easy ways to use some of the vintage jewelry I have. I wasn't feeling like digging into a major project, though. Here are some of the short-cut pieces I made, which I'm going to put in my etsy shop. Speaking of which...here I go, off on another tangent...I've decided to wait until I have a fairly sizable number of items with which to stock my store. Rather than doing it piecemeal, and having visitors asking: "Is that all?" Any thoughts on doing it the way I'm suggesting?
Back to the jewelry: I bought a batch of vintage, goldtone chains (necklaces & bracelets) at a thrift store ages ago. I thought maybe I could jazz them up a bit with some of my singleton earrings or a pin. Et voila! The turquoise necklace was a screw-back earring. I removed the screw part and bent the remaining wire down, to form a loop. Now I can put it on any chain. The other two necklaces are simply vintage pins. I discovered, the hard way, that it's a good idea to file down the pointed end before you try to wear it. OUCH! For the bracelet, I took apart a pair of rhinestone earrings and a single clip-on, removed the backs and glued them to a goldtone bracelet. Fast, fun & easy...just the kind of projects I had in mind.

More Basement Treasures

I wanted to add some pictures of specific treasures I came across, during my excursion to my basement today. There are two old bicycles, propped in a dark corner, which I swear I've never seen. I found the coffee pot (which wasn't quite as vintage as I'd hoped), as well as a lantern that has, clearly, become the residence of the local arachnids. Think I'll clean this one before the creepy crawlies wake up. I also found a set of wonderful, antique bookends: with illustrations from "Moby Dick". The find of all finds, which were hidden in the recesses of the canning room, a set of yellow dishes with red poppies. There were 6 dinner plates, a large serving platter, a serving bowl, creamer/ sugar bowl & a few saucers. The pattern is lovely and are in amazingly good shape, considering they were shoved behind dozens of mason jars! Oh, I also wanted to share the vintage "machine" that haunts a space next to my washer & dryer. I'm not certain if it's a dishwasher or a washing machine and I don't dare open the lid, for fear of coming face to face with whatever might have claimed it as a residence.

Thrifting in My Basement

When my kids and I moved into the house we are renting, over a year and a half ago, one of the hidden treasures I quickly discovered was the basement. The owner apologetically explained that I would have to "work around" mountains of "stuff" that was stored down there. The stuff, I soon discovered, was everything the family didn't immediately need/ want when their Aunt Peg (the original home owner) passed away. My landlord gave me carte blanche to use or re-vamp anything that caught my eye. In the first few weeks, after our move, I spent many heavenly hours down in the basement, sorting through Aunt Peg's leftovers. I couldn't believe some of the treasures that were cast aside by the family. I've refinished several pieces of furniture (one table I gave to my landlord & his wife for Christmas last year) and used bits & pieces of this & that in various projects. As time has passed, I assumed I'd found everything I could put to use. One of my fellow bloggers was showing off her recent thrifting finds and it sparked a visual memory of an old coffee pot sitting somewhere down in the crypt....my children's pet name for my haven. Little do they know that part of its appeal is that it is the one place, in the house, where they won't follow me! I went down to see if I could locate the coffee pot and my vision, of the remaining mementos, was rejuvenated. There are still so many abandoned trinkets down there, patiently waiting for the creative lightbulb to go off in my head. I snapped a few pictures to share. Perhaps something will catch the eye of one of you ever-imaginative ladies and you can inspire me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Double Ruffle Ribbons

Thanks to a "signal error" with my local cable company, I was without a phone and computer for nearly two days. No need to focus on the frustration it caused me because I am up and running again. It's amazing how those two "luxuries" are actually staples of daily living. I had to laugh, at one point, when an automated voice recording suggested I report my technical difficulties on the cable co.'s website. Why would I be waiting, on hold, for 1/2 hour if I had access to the internet???
I digress...
Last week I ordered some double ruffle ribbons from my new favorite etsy shop, Just because ribbons. I haven't worked with these ribbons before, but have been inspired by various projects I've come across, through blogs I follow. The ribbons arrived yesterday and they are absolutely beautiful! Sadly, I had only ordered 3 colors, because I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with them. As soon as I opened my little package, the creative juices were flowing. I started with a rather plain cardigan sweater that has been hanging in my closet for....well, for TOO long (as a personal organizer, I try to stick with the "if you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it!" rule, but I don't always practice what I preach). The sweater is an odd, muted brown and lacked any "oomph". I piggybacked the "lemongrass" and brown ribbons, added some vintage buttons and my once drab cardigan is now a piece with panache!
Of course, I had to order more ribbon right away. I contacted, Deb, the owner of the shop to see if she could customize an order for me. She responded right away and we've been emailing back and forth, deciding what colors/ amounts would best suit my needs. Aside from the fact that her ribbons are lovely and very reasonably priced, Deb is so helpful and beyond accommodating. She has over 50 colors to choose from, so I gave her an idea of what I'd like, but am letting her gather a variety for me. I can't wait to try the ribbons out on my embellished baseball caps and hope to get them up on etsy as soon as possible!
Deb doesn't (yet) have a blog, so I told her I would gladly share my finds with all of you. Stop by her etsy shop, Just Because Ribbons, and see for yourselves :-)